Channel 7 Olympics App & TV Coverage: A Review of the 7 Plus Olympics App & Free Streaming Service for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Unless you have been so far in isolation that you haven’t read the news or turned on the TV, you’d know that the Tokyo Olympics are in full swing.
With many viewers in lockdown and the games pushed back a year, this has been an Olympics like no other.
The Seven Network is not only broadcasting the games but is streaming it – 44 channels of it. A veritable smorgasbord of sport where you can watch the events that interest you the most, rather than a curated selection.
So how can one watch Tokyo 2020 sports live, free and in HD – apart from regular TV?
Well, the software engineers, product and user experience people behind 7plus have built a number of apps for your mobile phones (iOS and Android), a web version that you can access with an internet browser, and also Smart TV apps for popular connected TVs such as Apple TV, Android TV and Samsung.
Changing ways to stream
The last Olympics was in Rio in 2016. A lot has changed in the way in which we are accustomed to consuming live events and video content. The expectations have changed, and we now really want to switch between web, mobile and TV and have a coherent experience as we do that.
The recent redesign at a platform level delivers on that expectation with a familiar experience across devices with a sleek design, cinematic look and feel, and enhanced navigation with an Olympics drop down in the main bar and a search function that allows you to search for Olympic sports. You can pin sports or regular programming to your home page using the Watchlist feature, which adds to the user-focused design and is available on all devices that you sign in with.
Yes, you do need to sign in to use 7plus and all its personalised features – a standard practice across subscription streaming these days. However, the registration is simple and straightforward, which is required for the Watchlist to follow you around from device to device, a feature not found on other free streaming services in Australia.
The Olympics hub on 7plus also has catch up content, with Replays, Highlights and Tokyo Minis available on-demand, so you don’t have to worry about which event to watch.
Along with the coverage of the Olympics, the web version of 7plus has a full competition schedule available in the Olympics drop-down menu on the homepage. This full competition schedule shows you all events on that day and can be used to find the times of all events to be broadcast on live sports channels.
So let’s take a quick look at the mobile app version and web version and see what it has to offer.
7plus on web
Watching the Olympics on 7plus.com.au has probably been one of my favourite experiences so far. It really lends itself to the multitasking I do throughout the day – but doesn’t end once I’ve wrapped up with my day job. Having the ability to load multiple windows that allow me to simultaneously stream multiple events has been a godsend, especially with the massive array of sports that are constantly on. I’m definitely feeling spoiled for choice during this Olympics.
When I look at the features available on the web version, I find it quite easy to navigate and search for my favourite events, whether that be live or replay later, on-demand. All of the sports are easily discoverable within the navigation, Olympic carousels, search, or through browsing the Olympics hub. Once I’ve found the sport or event I’ve been looking for I’m able to just tick the Watchlist button to add it to my home screen for easy access. This has been great because I’ve been hooked on a few specific sports such as swimming, skateboarding and surfing, so this makes it easy to jump straight back in, anytime.
If I’ve found myself having a bit of decision paralysis, I have found the integrated competition schedule to be quite handy. I can just visit the page located in the Olympic dropdown and see what’s on during the day or filter by sport, which is great when I’m looking for a specific event or even just curious to see what’s on. Highly recommend this if you’re as Olympics obsessed as I am and don’t forget to look for the Watch or Live buttons on the schedule, as these will either take you directly to the stream or to view the live results.
7plus mobile app
When you jump into the mobile apps (iOS for me) from the very first screen you are presented with a very different interface than what we saw during the Commonwealth Games and Winter Olympics in 2018. The transformation has been from a very basic interface to something that is modern and sleek, and pairs nicely with the 7plus web experience.
One of the highlights in the mobile app is the full-screen Olympics promotion, so there is no mistaking where you can access Olympic content. The Homepage feature takes you straight into the main Channel 7 live stream. You can also dive directly into the Olympic Hub using the bottom menu icon with the Olympic rings on it, to find full replays, Tokyo Minis (20-minute highlight reels) and short highlight videos from Tokyo 2020. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s also highlights from almost every Summer Olympic Games since 2000.
The mobile app also has the same live rows containing other sport-specific streams, so you don’t need to scroll far to keep you busy for the entire Olympic Games.
At the top of the Olympics page, users can also link to the full competition schedule in a pop-up browser view. This goes out of the app to the web view of the full competition schedule.
The final feature to make note of on the 7plus apps (a feature that even Netflix doesn’t have) is the Picture in Picture view of the video player. This allows users to watch content while also navigating to find the next piece of Olympics content you want to watch.
7plus is a comprehensive and enjoyable experience for discovering, streaming and watching the Olympics.
It’s live, free and supports High Definition viewing, allowing me to enjoy moments like seeing Owen Wright win the first Olympic medal for surfing for team Australia.
This article has been supplied by 7plus.